U18 Premier League- Game 5
Arsenal 0 Stoke City 0
Arsenal U18s were unable to make the breakthrough against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon despite the fact that they created several goalscoring opportunities at London Colney.
Reinforcing the argument that it is extremely difficult to achieve consistency at this level due to constantly changing line-ups, coach Carl Laraman’s side contained just three players who had started the defeat to Manchester United last week, with only Jack Jebb, Leander Siemann and Elliot Wright being retained. Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill made his first appearance of the season after recovering from injury, whilst there were starts for schoolboys Chiori Johnson, Chris Willock and Kaylen Hinds.
subs: Iliev, Dawkins, Uade, Dobson, Robinson.
Stoke started in the ascendancy, with Arsenal goalkeeper Ryan Huddart forced into a good save early on, but it wasn’t long until Laraman’s side started to dominate proceedings.
Hinds, who joined from Leyton Orient last summer, was at the heart of much of what was good about Arsenal’s play in the first-half, with the 15 year old, who has been named in the latest England U16 squad, doing well to seize possession and find Austin Lipman, who shot just wide.
Hinds was then presented with a chance of his own from a corner but his header was pushed to safety by Stoke goalkeeper Dale Eve in what proved to be the final notable incident of the first-half.
Kieran Monlouis came close for the visitors with a powerful shot shortly after the re-start, but Arsenal soon regained control, with Swedish winger Jamaal Raage doing well to find Hinds, whose header was tipped over the crossbar.
Arsenal could have scored a winner late on when substitute George Dobson found Hinds, but the youngster couldn’t find the net. The Gunners travel to face Middlesbrough next week but, before then, the attention will turn to Arsenal’s inaugural UEFA Youth League fixture away to Marseille on Wednesday.